9 Free & Cheapest Boarding School In Canada

There is no denying that boarding schools provide lots of advantages to students whether by providing lessons in small class sizes which easily boosts student and teacher relationships, students’ concentration, and also provide more personalized attention. It also helps students to be more disciplined concerning time management, and other aspects

However, boarding schools don’t come cheap, even in Canada, and the dream of a boarding school education might seem out of reach due to this hefty cost. Don’t worry, because there are a handful of cheapest boarding schools in Canada that use generous financial aid programs and scholarships to reduce their fees.

Moreover, if you intend to explore international options, or reside in the United States, there are many free and affordable boarding schools in states like New York, Georgia, Florida, Pennsylvania, and even Texas. Australia also offers some very affordable boarding schools.

Before we get started we would love to state that there are no true free boarding schools in Canada in the sense that they cover all the costs of tuition, room, and board entirely for all students. The only better option is financial assistance that covers almost all costs, we’ll provide those options here.

Let’s get started 

Cheapest Boarding School In Canada

Cheapest Boarding School In Canada

While exploring Canadian boarding schools, there weren’t any free options or very affordable choices that also deliver an exceptional academic experience. So our list will be focused on boarding schools that provide enormous financial aid. 

The interesting thing is that most of their financial assistance is based on a family’s financial need, so the lesser annual income you have, the more chances you have to have a fully sponsored grant. Grants are not loans that need to be repaid.

Note: You’ll see lots of schools that are overwhelmingly high, we only added them due to the high financial assistance they provide. So, don’t be scared.

1. Appleby College

International (tuition + boarding)$90,270
Canadian (tuition + boarding)$83,250
Senior One & Senior Two (Grade 11, 12) (tuition + boarding)$73,560

As we said earlier, “there are boarding schools that are outrageously high,” and this is one of those schools. But what Appleby College couldn’t provide in low-cost education it made up for in numerous financial assistance.

All their financial assistance is based on the financial need of applicants. That means, if you have a very low household income, you have a high chance of getting almost all your fees waived. Approximately 20% of Appleby College families receive financial assistance annually.

Also, if your kid demonstrates exceptional leadership skills, both inside and outside the classroom, he/she can stand a chance to win a $20,000 scholarship which can be used for tuition fees. The scholarship is open to all day, boarding and international students, regardless of their financial need, and there are only five to be awarded, making it more competitive.

This scholarship doesn’t prevent students from applying for financial assistance programmes.

Location: 540 Lakeshore Rd W, Oakville, ON L6K 3P1, Canada

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2. Upper Canada College

Year 8–10$73,700$79,400
Year 11–12$75,400$81,100

Yes, Upper Canada College’s tuition and boarding fees are high, but their provision of more than $5 million in financial assistance makes it among the cheapest boarding school in Canada. 

Upper Canada College believes that the quality of their students is the single most important factor defining their reputation, relevance and future. That’s why they attract the best and brightest students — regardless of their financial circumstances.

Not to mention that the United Kingdom has lots of affordable boarding schools even for international students.

Moreover, 34.5% of boarding families receive some amount of financial assistance, the vast majority of whom are Canadian.

Besides the fact that UCC provides financial assistance and merit-based scholarships to support its students, it also provides transformational learning experiences with the help of its expert faculty, cutting-edge facilities and wide-ranging co-curricular offerings. Also, 100% of their graduates receive university offers, and their student-to-faculty ratio is just 8:1 making it easier for personalized attention and closer relationship between students and their teachers.

Location: 200 Lonsdale Rd, Toronto, ON M4V 1W6, Canada

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3. The Bishop Strachan School

Day StudentsCanadian BoardersInternational Boarders

The Bishop Strachan School is for young women in Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 from Toronto, Canada, and around the world that has been shaping these young girls for 156 years. By joining BSS, your girl won’t only benefit from their quality education but also be part of their warm-welcoming community where alumnae often return as speakers, mentors, advisors and role models for their current students.

Moreover, they still provide tuition and program assistance in the form of merit-based scholarships and need-based financial aid to families who need extra help with costs. Every year, BSS allocates over $2 million in financial assistance, the most of any girls’ school in Canada. In essence, their financial aid provision made them among the cheapest boarding schools in Canada.

Location: 298 Lonsdale Road, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4V 1X2

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4. St. Andrew’s College

Day StudentsCanadian BoardersInternational Boarders

SAC awards approximately 26% of their students with scholarships or bursaries, which amounts to a budget of over $3 million annually. With this extra financial help, it might not make them among the free boarding schools in Ontario, but it surely helped make things cheaper.

Like most schools, SAC’s scholarships are awarded based on students’ individual performance, while bursaries are awarded based on the family’s need for assistance.

Their scholarships and bursaries may not cover all your fees, but surely they will help to ease the financial burden which indirectly makes them among the cheapest boarding school in Canada.

SAC is an all-boys school where there is a commitment to holistic education, and where a wide range of extra-curricular activities are provided.

Location: 15800 Yonge St, Aurora, ON L4G 3H7, Canada

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5. Lakefield College School

Day StudentsCanadian and US Boarding Student Tuition ($CAD)International Boarders

To help reduce the tuition and boarding fees of their students, LCS awards approximately $2.3 million annually in tuition assistance. Every year, about one-in-three LCS students receive tuition assistance in the form of a bursary. 

LCS is a private, coeducational boarding and day school for students in grades 9 through 12, located in Lakefield, Ontario, Canada.

LCS has the reputation of building students in such a way that their students won’t only appreciate their experience at Lakefield, but they will always look back on it with fondness and joy. They also embrace diverse cultures and different ethnicities which made them have students from over 43 countries around the world.

Location: 4391 County Road 29, Lakefield Ontario K0L 2H0

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6. Rothesay Netherwood School

Canadian Boarding (Grades 6-10)$46,200
Canadian Boarding (Grades 11-12)$47,080
US Boarding$57,170
International Boarding (Grades 6-10)$75,260
International Boarding (Grades 11-12)$76,140

If your kid entering Grades 6 through 12 is academically prolific, then he/she might be eligible for Rothesay Netherwood School’s merit scholarship. It doesn’t end there whether your kid excels in their academics or not, but if you desire financial help, RNS also provides bursaries to support Canadian families.

The amount of bursary you will receive depends on the amount of endowment monies available and the number of applicants. So far, they have awarded $1.5 million in scholarships and bursaries annually.

RNS is a small, independent, co-ed boarding and day school for Grades 6 to 12. All of their graduates are admitted to university, and they have a 7:1 student-to-teacher ratio.

Location: 40 College Hill Road, Rothesay, NB, E2E 5H1, Canada

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7. Branksome Hall

Day StudentsCanadian and US Boarding Student Tuition ($CAD)
JK–Grade 10: $40,940Grades 7–10: $78,590
Grades 11–12: $44,640Grades 11–12: $82,290

Because Branksome supports, in part, as many families as possible from Grades 7 to 12, it would be worth indirectly saying that they are among the cheapest boarding school in Canada. Annually, they make available almost $1.4 million in financial assistance, and 10% of their students receive this assistance in the form of a bursary or entrance merit scholarship.

Branksome Hall is regarded as Toronto’s leading independent International Baccalaureate (IB) World School for girls. Their curriculum is globally focused and girls are taught the skills they need to thrive in our complex and changing world.

Location: 10 Elm Ave, Toronto, ON, Canada

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8. St. George’s School

Canadian Boarding StudentAmerican or Mexican Boarding StudentInternational Boarding Student
GRADES 8-12: $66,500GRADES 8-12: $76,000GRADES 8-12: $90,000

Even though St. George’s School boarding and tuition fees are very high, with the help of their merit-based scholarships and need-based financial aid worth over $1.8 million you can reduce this fee. In fact, if your household income is between $0 to $100,000 you are likely going to receive an average grant of $27,400; and you remember that grants are not to be repaid.

  • Location:
    • JUNIOR SCHOOL: 3851 West 29th Avenue, Vancouver, BC
    • SENIOR SCHOOL: 4175 West 29th Avenue, Vancouver, BC

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9. Balmoral Hall School

Day tuition feesBoarding StudentsInternational Boarding Student
range from $18,750 to $22,500range from $41,500 (Manitoba) to $54,500 (North America)$69,000

You’ll notice that tuition fee and boarding fees in Balmoral Hall School are not as high as some of the other boarding schools we have listed. Also, their students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 are eligible for tuition support up to a maximum of 50%.

Balmoral Hall School is a respected all-girls school known for its strong academics and supportive environment.

Location: 630 Westminster Ave. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

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Key Takeaway

Despite the absence of free boarding schools in Canada and the scarcity of highly affordable options, many institutions compensate with extensive financial aid programs, offering need-based bursaries and merit-based scholarships to bridge the cost barrier.

The best part is that these boarding schools maintain a high level of education standards, so your kid(s) will have a lot to gain and prepare for university or college.

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